MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1000♦ North Carolina Tar Heels
For your third straight National Title game winner I love the Tar Heels minus the points.
Sure Michigan State is feeling good about their self and sure the Spartans are playing their best ball of the season, but so too is North Carolina who let’s face it is the most talented team in the nations. Talent that has lead North Carolina to five straight tournament blowouts as the Tar Heels have to be really be tested as they have own by an average of 20 ppg in their five games with all five wins coming by at least 12 points. Plus, not to forget about their regular season meeting where North Carolina won 98-63 at Ford Field in early December with Michigan State having a few excuses I don’t care if the Spartan are vastly improved losing by 35 points is going to be a tough number to overcome. Bottom line, the main question mark on North Carolina entering this tournament was if Lawson was going to be healthy enough to play? Well Ty Lawson more than was ready to play as the speedy point guard will not only be $250 richer at the craps table this weekend, but he and his teammates will be national champs at the end of tonight thanks to what I see being yet another double digit win.
All North Carolina minus the points!
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
50 Dime - MICHIGAN STATE
10 Dime - Tigers-Blue Jays OVER
Bonus 5 Dime - MICHIGAN STATE MONEYLINE
MICHIGAN STATE --- Is it just me, or am I the only one sick and tired of hearing about North Carolina’s 30+ point win at Ford Field earlier this year? Does a game from late in 2008 really have much to do with a game in early April? Shoot, Northwestern also beat Florida State by 14 points that same night. Should we believe if those two played again tonight the result would be the same? Absolutely not… so why is everyone telling me this game is going to be a blowout tonight?
Michigan State is vastly improved from that early December night and their defensive intensity and ability to hit the boards is better than it's been all season. MSU's last loss was in the Big 10 tourney when Ohio State handed them an 82-70 setback. After that game, the Spartan seniors got together and had a "come to Jesus" meeting with the rest of the team and talked about what it was going to take in order to get to the Final Four and win the Big Dance in their own backyard. So far, that meeting appears to be paying off.
Not only have they had a brutal road to this point (USC, Kansas, Louisville, and UConn), they've won these games in different ways. In their game vs. USC, they dedicated themselves to stopping the Trojans' three-point shooters and it worked as USC converted on just one of 10 attempts. Also notice that Raymar Morgan, who missed much of the season with walking pneumonia, was 0-for-4 from the field and committed four personal fouls. He was NOT a factor. Versus Kansas they had to battle back from a double-digit deficit, converting all but one of the free throw attempts and limited the 'Hawks to just 3-of-12 from behind the arc. Raymar Morgan was just 1-for-6 from the field and finished with four points in 13 minutes.
In their matchup with Louisville (as 7-point pups), used a tremendous amount of their deep bench, outrebounded the Cardinals by 9 and limited a very good three-point shooting team to just 37% out there. Raymar Morgan, again, struggled to get quality minutes, scoring no points in 10 minutes while picking up four cheap fouls. Then against UConn, the Spartans decided to play a little offense, scoring 82 points against a pretty good defensive team. Although they didn't win the rebounding battle this time (41-40), they did move the ball around very well and out-assisted the Huskies 18-8. But this time, Raymar Morgan came to play, and that's why you saw the Spartans score more points than they had all tournament. In 30 minutes of work, Morgan hit 7 of 13 shots, grabbed nine boards and had five steals en route to an 18-point performance. And Morgan's defensive presence inside tonight is going to be one of the differences in why MSU wins the points in the paint stat.
Everyone talks about Carolina's depth, and for good reason. But the Heels are up against the only other team in this tourney that can go as deep as they do. Watch the fouls in this one. Carolina got sloppy against Villanova in their last game which forced a couple of guys to the bench earlier than they wanted. If that happens again tonight, MSU has the talent to make them pay for those mistakes. You see, Villanova had a golden opportunity to do that but just couldn't convert shots. There was absolutely no reason why the Wildcats didn't reach 80+ points except for the fact they shot a dismal 5-for-27 from behind the arc... and a few of those were late in the game when Carolina was already up 18.
As for Carolina, they're going to have to shoot better than 40% from the field and 59% from the free throw line if they want to win and cover their 6th straight game in this tournament. Although I have been highly impressed with their shooting from long distance, I can't say the same for their points in the paint or their shots from the stripe. When you go to the line 37 times and make just 22 of those attempts, something isn't right. MSU's defensive prowess and ballhawking ability is going to give the Heels a number of chances from the line tonight... but can they convert better than 60% of them?
And back to rebounding... MSU has always been regarded as a great rebounding team since Tom Izzo took over, and rightfully so. Carolina was outrebounded by a Villanova team that doesn't have a huge size advantage inside. How can we expect that tonight MSU won't have that same advantage, and then some. When the Spartans outrebound teams, they win... plain and simple. Watch the battle of the boards tonight as a key factor in the Spartans cover.
Sparty is on some incredible ATS runs recently, covering their last five vs. teams with a SU winning record, their last 7 non-conference games, five of their last six as a dog, and 25 of their last 33 vs. teams with a winning percentage of greater than .600. With everything on the line tonight and the home-court advantage possibly playing a big factor for the Spartans, don't be surprised to see MSU get the outright win here and take home the second National Championship of Tom Izzo's coaching career.
TOR/DET OVER --- No doubt the Blue Jays have the advantage in starting pitching tonight with Roy Halladay facing Justin Verlander, and often times you see the pitchers start the season with the advantage over the hitters because it's likely the first time they've seen each other aside from a few spring training outings.
I actually expect the Blue Jays to be able to come close to going over this number themselves tonight against Justin Verlander... a pitcher they scored 7 runs against in their last meeting (in 2008). In fact, Justin Verlander ended the 2008 season on a sour note, losing four of his final six starts with one no-decision. In those starts it was no wonder the O/U was either 9.5 or 10... because Vegas knew this guy just didn't have the stuff he once did and it didn't appear he was getting it back anytime soon.
Verlander was 4-9 away from Comerica Park last season and finished the season by allowing 4 ER or more in five of his last six starts.
And while I realize Halladay is a better pitcher than Verlander, it's not like he didn't have his share of struggles last season. In fact, his last meeting with Detroit, he went 8.2 innings but allowed five ERs to the boys from Motown.
I expect this game to finish somewhere around 6-3 or 6-4, which easily gets us where we want to be for our first baseball winner of the season.
MICHIGAN STATE MONEY LINE --- I believe we're getting a great price here tonight and I fully believe these guys are a team of destiny playing just 78 miles from home. It seems as if each game, the general public says, "oh, this is the game they finally lose. They can't beat Kansas, or they can't beat Louisville, or they can't beat UConn." But it also seems as if each time they find another way to win. I don't think Tom Izzo gets enough credit for being a great basketball coach. In fact, I believe that if Izzo was coaching this Carolina team, they might not have more than one loss on the entire season... that's how much I respect this guy. Nothing against Roy Williams, but I think he's outclassed tonight by a better coach who has players playing better for him right now than in his last National Championship run. Don't go nuts with this play, but don't act shocked with MSU when they're cutting down the nets tonight in Detroit.